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Equality NC Calls Senate Leader's Anti-Gay Actions an "Abuse of Power"

RALEIGH, N.C. (October 25, 2014) -- Equality NC accused Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) of an abuse of power and a political "stunt" for his continued fight against marriage equality in North Carolina.

As WRAL reported, late Friday, Berger and 27 other members of the Senate Republican Caucus released a letter demanding that the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts retract and revise its directions to magistrates asked to perform same-sex marriages.

The AOC memo, released Oct. 14, said magistrates could not choose not to perform same-sex marriages on the basis of religious objection to them. It warned that magistrates could be fined or fired for refusing to carry out their job duties.

Equality NC and its legal team echoed the AOC's stance, releasing a statement on Saturday calling Berger's propositions a political "stunt:"

"For purely political purposes, Senator Berger tries to dress up discrimination by calling it religious freedom. A stunt, the United States Supreme Court has consistently said it won't allow. Senator Berger's demands are an abuse of his power and merely reflect what he wants the law to be, not what it is. This is about government actors respecting the law, doing their jobs, and treating everyone fairly. The law is the law, and Mr. Berger, an attorney himself, knows as well as anyone that you don’t get to decide which laws to follow and which ones to ignore."

The list of the 27 legislators supporting Sen. Berger's anti-LGBT propositions:

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ABOUT EQUALITY NC: Equality NC is the statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender North Carolinians.

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